UPDATE: 12 September 2016
If you haven’t set up SSL on your site yet, get to it! The Google Chrome Security team has announced the browser will begin labeling HTTP connections as insecure from January 2017 [WP Tavern].
Original Article: 08 August 2014
Google has announced that it will increase the rankings of any site using HTTPS, or secure HTTP, connections on their websites. Google wants to encourage more web owners to secure their site with HTTPS as a way to help Google users go to sites with better security. They have created a number of resources to help webmasters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites.
It is Google’s hope that improving a site’s ranking based on their security level will encourage more sites to go secure and thus make a better web user experience.
For these reasons, over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content—while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
“In other words, Google finds that testing whether websites support HTTPS, among its many ranking signals, improves the relevancy of its search results. As a consequence, any website concerned about where it ranks in search result lists — which means most websites — will want to implement HTTPS support if it hasn’t already.” (Reference: InformationWeek.com